Last weekend (March 23-26) the Mothball Rally didn’t happen! It is always a hard call when bad weather is forecast during a rally; Tom was not worried just about a little inconvenience of wet and cold weather – it was the road predictions for ice and snow that really got his attention. All in all, the Mothball was cancelled.
This Monday morning was not the earliest start ever – we had to wait for some of the snow to melt! That’s right . . . April 2nd and winter is still with us! Last night’s dusting was minimal, and the roads were mostly clear in the morning, and it was all pretty enough to commemorate with a few pictures!
By 9:30 we were off for East Fork State Park for an overnight visit with son/Micah while on our way to Sister/Tink’s Spring Fling in Maggie Valley, NC!! Arriving at East Fork by 2:30, we were the only ones in “A” loop and assumed that was because it was Monday afternoon. Temperatures were in the low 40’s, and by early afternoon, the sun was gone. We enjoyed a long walk and by 5:00 we were off to have dinner with Micah at Madtree brewery.
It poured rain throughout the night with thunder and lightening, and come morning, we were relieved that Tom had hooked up the trailer the night before!
Tuesday was an exciting ride as every mile towards Knoxville took us deeper into territory where the trees were popping buds and flowers and the temperatures were on the rise. By the time we reached the Tennessee border, the temps were in the 70’s and the sun was shining. We arrived at Yarbarry Peninsula Campground on Lake Loudon by 2:00, took Charlie for a walk, and I sat outside in my lawn chair, lakeside, for 1½ hours and basked in my first warm, sunny afternoon of the season.
(Note the new WBCCI #'s Tom made for the Silvermine)
At 5:00 we met brother/Richard and his partner Paula for dinner. We were excited to get back to the campground by 6:30 with plenty of sunshine and nice temperatures to sit out on our lake-front property!
At 5:00 we met brother/Richard and his partner Paula for for an early dinner. We were excited to get back to the campground by 6:30 with plenty of sunshine and nice temperatures to again sit out on our lake-front property!
We headed inside at 75 degrees with windows wide open. After midnight, the wind picked up and a cold-front roared in and we hastily stirred to close the windows. By morning the temperature was 48, and predicted to go down, down, down!
Tuesday, 9:00 AM, we were off for a brief 2-hour drive west on Interstate 40, across the border into North Carolina, arriving at Pride RV in Maggie Valley, NC, by 11:30. The drive was beautiful as spring progressed with tree buds, flowers, and new spring-green growth mile by mile. Unfortunately, the cold front also settled into North Carolina, and the temperatures were not predicted to be out of the 50’s .
Tink was waiting as we pulled in along with all of her Rpoders and used-to-be-podders. We didn’t take long to set up and join her in her Rdome – which was heated and set up with tables and chairs as the desginated gathering place! A game of fancy-dominoes was going on throughout the afternoon, and with the sun out shining brightly, you would never have known it was just a bit above 50.
I got pictures of every rig that was on site Thursday night.
Thursday night was probably the first-ever “Amuse Bouche campground walking progressive” – ever! In North Carolina . . . in the world! Don’t know what an Amuse Bouche is? It means “amuse the mouth” and is a single bite/tease of food that is supposed to prepare you for the meal. In this case – it WAS THE MEAL! Campers paired up and set out their little bites with a buddy, and we progressed from campsite to site eating our little nibbles. The problem is that each little taste, was usually 4 bites. And every bite came with a little something to swig, imbibe, guzzle, nip or swill . . . the first stop got us all off to a good start with Root Beer flavored Moonshine! It took us about 2 hours of non-stop chatting, eating, walking, and drinking to get all the way around – great fun. Tom had his hands full with enjoying the venue and taking pictures for the blog!
The weekend included another meal get-together planned by Tink – A Tamale dinner. The tamales were made by the famous Tamale Lady in Knoxille and served with chili and all kinds of Mexican sides. The weather did not cooperate for an outdoor venue, but Tink hijacked a cabin and spread her spread out for everyone to enjoy. ( Thanks to Vic and Deb for letting us all crash their rental cabin!)
The weekend offered us a few busts – trips that didn’t exactly come off. When we tried to go for a drive to Little Switzerland, the Blue Ridge Parkway was closed! When we opted do tour the Biltmore Mansion, all the $25 tours were sold out and only the lengthy, $80 tours were available! We passed. And, as we headed for the Blanket Mountain scenic drive, we found it closed, also!
In the afternoon Tom escorted Tink with a small faction to a local distillery while I stayed back at the Silvermine. Everyone came back with that Root Beer Moonshine that we had tasted at the Amuse Bouche -- except Tom!
I have a little trailer malfunction to report . . . the furnace quit working! That was OK for the first couple of nights, but on Saturday night it was predicted to be in the 20’s . . . which could spell disaster for our pipes if they froze! Tom "shot trouble" at 2:00 a.m. with the Coach Net 24/hour service people, and again at 8:00 a.m. with Bruce, our go-to-Airstream-guru. We also tried for a couple mobile RV doctor’s in the area, and after it was all said and done, the problem was not going to be fixed there at the campground. Tom went to Wal-Mart for 3 jugs of RV antifreeze, then pulled out all his equipment and winterized the Silvermine! We borrowed a small space heater (Tink had 2!) and did an inventory of all our extra blankets, hoodies, and long-johns. That little heater kept the temperature at a respectable digit, and we slept just fine!
Sunday morning we were headed for home at 7:00 a.m. We had to make a stop at Micah's house in Cincinnati, and the total trip logged in 501 miles in 10 hours. Tom has a friend at the Mothership that says he can bring the Silvermine over Monday morning to check out the furnace. Now . . . if the weather would just warm up!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown